Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy – an important service of Rosetown Natural Health

Stan is a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) and a member of the Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS). He offers massage therapy from Monday to Saturday using a combination of Swedish Remedial Massage, St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy, Onsen Technique, Advanced (painless) Trigger Point Technique and others. Stan likes to use Young Living brand of essential oils in his treatments. He also uses two different vibrators. The Sonafon is very effective for small areas of muscle tension or soreness and the Master Massager by Morfam is a nice relaxing way to end a treatment. 

What is Massage Therapy? 

Source: "About Massage Therapy...", booklet, copyright Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance, 1994

 The basis of massage therapy is the manipulation of the tissues, primarily with the hands, for remedial purposes. Throughout the world massage therapy is an important part of self-care and health care programs. In Canada, massage therapy is widely recognized by patients and doctors alike as an effective means of treating soft tissue pain or disability and for its value in preventive care.

The Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance defines massage therapy as:

... the assessment of the soft tissues and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain." Massage therapists are trained in the principles of anatomy, physiology, pathology, massage theory and practice. They are also versed in stretching techniques, remedial exercise and gentle mobilization. Much training and practice are required to achieve the necessary skills and competence to work in the field of massage therapy. 

Throughout Canada, massage therapists work in collaboration with physicians, dentists, chiropractors, physiotherapists and other health care professionals. You will find them at work in rehabilitation clinics, private practice or local health clubs. Massage therapists are involved with professional and amateur sports teams or athletic clubs; work in extended care hospitals; assist with pre- and post- natal care; and practice on-site, taking massage therapy to the office or into the home. 

Effects of Massage Therapy 

Source: "About Massage Therapy...", booklet, copyright Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance, 1994


· increases blood flow

· increases cellular waste removal

· increases oxygen flow to the cells

· increases lymph flow (with specific techniques) Muscular

· decreases muscle stiffness or spasm

· promotes muscle relaxation

· improves flexibility, and/or ability to move

· promotes improved posture


· promotes deep breathing

· assists breathing in cases of chronic bronchitis or emphysema


· sedates or stimulates nerves (depending on technique used)

Psychological / Emotional

· promotes relaxation

· provides safe and caring touch

· increases body awareness

· clears the mind

· enhances self-image

Benefits of Massage Therapy  

Source: "About Massage Therapy...", booklet, copyright Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance, 1994

The human body was built to move, to be mobile, to be ready for action. So why do so many people experience achiness, stiffness or inflexibility?  

A look at our environment can provide many of the answers.  Each day we are faced with many physical challenges - as office workers holding arms over a keyboard, as construction workers hammering repeatedly or as bus drivers sitting for long periods with insufficient support.  Work places are often built with equipment in mind, not to accommodate different body shapes and sizes. Society demands performance, but workers don't get warm-up time before activities. Deadlines, traffic, air quality and many other factors lead to physical and mental stresses that eventually become evident as pain in the physical body. 

Massage therapy seeks to address some of these symptoms.  The therapeutic use of massage affects all systems of the body, most particularly the circulatory (blood and lymph), muscular, fascial and nervous systems.  Massage therapy is also effective in the control of pain (chronic or acute), in stress reduction and in creating a sense of relaxation and well-being. 

Research documents the diverse physiological effects of massage, physically stretching the muscles, encouraging circulation, inhibiting muscle spasm, reflexly sedating or stimulation the nerves to ease pain or promote function as necessary. 

Other effects are preventive in nature.  When muscles are loose and circulation is sufficient, better health results, diminishing chances of injury or dysfunction. Some other effects are not as well understood, such as decreased anxiety following treatment.  Some physical and psychological effects may be due to the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. 

Massage can also help reduce the growing incidence of on-the-job injury due to repetitive strains.  Incorrect positioning, as well as repeated use, can strain muscles and joints.  Massage therapy helps maintain muscle tone and flexibility and interrupts harmful repetitive strain patterns.  Your therapist may also suggest changes to your workstation to help prevent potential injury.  Part of the job of a massage therapist is to educate patients on good habits, posture and stretches, and to suggest remedial exercises to improve overall health. 

St. John Neuromuscular Therapy 

Source: Discover The St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy brochure. Copyright Paul St. John 1995 

The St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy is a comprehensive program of soft tissue manipulation techniques that balance the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) with the structure and form of the musculoskeletal system (skeleton and muscles of the body).  This program was developed by Paul St. John in response to his own constant, debilitating pain, based on research that identifies the fundamental causes of pain.  

The St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy considers five principles that cause pain:

· Ischemia

· Trigger Points

· Nerve compression or entrapment

· Postural distortion

· Biomechanical dysfunction

The St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy is taught in five seminars of 3 to 4 days in length, each covering different areas of the body.  

Paul St. John and his trained instructors have taught the St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy to massage therapists and other health professionals throughout North America and in many other countries worldwide.  Stan Hingston has taken the five seminars between 1984 and 1986 (but has not taken the optional certification exams).  For more information on these techniques contact Stan (below) or the Paul St John NMT website. 

Onsen Technique 

The Onsen Technique is a body balancing technique developed by Rich Phaigh, author of Athletic Massage.  Onsen is a Japanese word meaning "at rest" or "at peace" or "in balance". Balance of the soft tissues of the body is the goal of the Onsen Technique. A balanced body does not hurt.

The three main therapy components of ONSEN are Muscle Energy Technique, Post Isometric Relaxation and Transverse Friction Massage.  

Onsen Technique begins with accurate assessment of the patient's structural deviations and functional abnormalities.  This is critical because the structural cause of pain may be some distance from the site of pain.  The correction techniques to realign the spine and body are simple and painless. The most exciting application of the Onsen Technique is the assessment and painless realignment of individual spinal segments. The objective of Onsen Technique is to facilitate early return to work following injuries and to provide long term pain relief.  

Stan has taken all four volumes of the Onsen Treatment of Pain workshops and is ready to apply the Onsen techniques that he has learned to relieve your pain. 

Advanced Trigger Point Technique  

   Trigger points are small hyperirritable spots in muscles, tendons and ligaments that are painful with pressure and often refer pain to other areas in a predictable pattern. Pain with movement or stretching which limits the range of movement of a joint is likely caused by trigger points. Depending on location, trigger points can also cause: dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, buckling knees, muscle fatigue (your arm feels “heavy” or you feel “too tired” to hold your back straight), and stiffness after resting or over-exertion.

   Trigger points are often caused by trauma such as a motor vehicle accident (e.g. whiplash) but can result from any injury or strain (excessive or repetitive) to the soft tissue. These can remain latent in the body for years until activated. Factors which activate trigger points include: over exertion of the tissue, prolonged stretch or shortening of the tissue, postural imbalance, getting chilled, general fatigue (lack of sleep), sudden movements, viral infections, high stress, and dehydration.

   The Advanced Trigger Point Technique (TPT) uses light pressure with a minimum of pain to release the trigger point (some deeper pressure is required to first find the focal point). TPT is followed by a circulatory massage to increase blood flow to the area and flush out metabolites released during the treatment.

   It usually takes several one-hour massage treatments using TPT to clear an area of the body. After therapy you should feel lighter and looser, and be able to move more freely without pain. A cleared area should remain pain free unless the factors which caused or activated the trigger points are still in effect.

Raindrop Technique  

Raindrop Technique is a special massage protocol incorporating nine or more therapeutic-grade essential oils, Vitaflex and massage therapy. This technique was developed by Gary Young and is being used by a growing number of therapists across North America with amazing results. For a description of the technique and the oils used, see the Young Living World's Raindrop Technique webpage (click on "Raindrop Technique").  

In Raindrop Technique the essential oils are applied to the spine and back of the legs by dropping them from about 6" like drops of rain - hence the name. The oils are spread using a very light stroke called "feathering" and followed by Vita Flex techniques to stimulate the nervous system.  Hot compresses help the oils to penetrate the skin and result in deep relaxation.  The oils continue to work in the body for 1-2 weeks following the treatment. Paper tracings or Polaroid (c) photos of the spine may be done before and after the treatment to demonstrate its effectiveness in relaxing the spinal musculature resulting in structural realignment. Often there is a noticeable difference after even one treatment.

Stan offers Raindrop Technique to massage therapy clients at Rosetown Natural Health.  The oils he uses are from Young Living Essential Oils.  The treatments take approximately one hour.  

Below are testimonials from two of our first "Raindrop Technique" clients: 

For several years I have suffered from osteo-arthritis of my left hip joint.  A mis-diagnosed dislocation of the joint 30 years ago at age 10 resulted in a natural fusion of the hip joint.  This has caused years of lower back pain, stiffness of the hip, and a feeling of always being off balance.  I have great difficulty doing simple tasks like tying shoes and getting in and out of vehicles.  I have tried many things over the past few years to keep myself mobile.  I have weekly chiropractic and massage treatments which have helped to increase movement in the hip and lessen the pain.  

On March 29 and again April 6 I had a "Raindrop Technique" treatment at the Rosetown Natural Health Centre.  When I stood up after the first treatment my very first thought was "something feels very good".  My body felt different but I couldn't quite pinpoint exactly what it was - everything felt good.  There was a total relief from tightness and tension throughout my body.  It was like I had spent all day being massaged and pampered. I felt very loose in the joints, straight and taller.  I had an overwhelming feeling of being relaxed with a calm state of mind.  Also I haven't slept this well in years.  Raindrop Technique got my attention and I am amazed at the results.   

Debbie Peterson
Rosetown, Saskatchewan

My sister Evelyn had several minor MVA's which have caused her chronic pain and muscle spasms in her cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. On April 6, 1999, she had a Raindrop Technique treatment in Rosetown, then drove home to Calgary.  The following is excerpted from an e-mail she sent me a few days later.

Hi Stan, yes, I loved the Raindrop.  My back felt wonderful, still does.  Had a massage therapy appointment for yesterday which I kept. He found no serious problems, unlike the last time when my center back was like concrete.  Then I saw the chiropractor who said my back adjusted "like butter".  He rarely if ever can adjust that part of my back. It usually just won't budge for him.  

Evelyn Levson
, Alberta

Massage-Related Websites  

 Below are some helpful websites that I have found related to massage therapy: 

· Massage Therapy Association of Saskatchewan [] is the provincial massage associations formed in 1996 with roots going back to 1966

· Massage Therapy Canada [] magazine, produced by Massage Therapists for Massage Therapists.